Your most important blood values explained
What are erythrocytes?
Erythrocytes are the red blood cells and oxygen taxis in your blood. They transport oxygen to the cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells. If there are too few taxis, this is called anaemia. As a dialysis patient, your kidneys no longer produce the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which helps to create enough blood cells. Also, your red blood cells cannot survive in your blood as long anymore as they did before you had renal failure. Too few erythrocytes often cause fatigue and shortness of breath.
What is the approximate target value for red blood cells?
In women, erythrocytes should ideally be between 3.9 - 5.3 T/l. In men, this corridor is elevated and therefore at 4.4 - 6.0 T/l.
How can erythrocytes be influenced in renal therapy?
Again, your diet plays an important role. Your body also needs iron to produce red blood cells. More specifically, it needs iron to produce the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. The nutrition section of the Miku app can support you well here for optimizing your diet. If your diet can no longer sufficiently compensate for it, your doctor will give you iron infusions and prescribe the hormone erythropoietin (EPO). You will receive these two drugs regularly during renal replacement therapy.
What are leukocytes?
Leukocytes are the white blood cells in your body. They are parts of your immune system and your defense against infections. That's why your white blood cell count always goes up when you have a bacterial infection.
What is the approximate target level for leukocytes?
Depending on what unit of measurement the lab uses, it's usually 4-10 /nl or 4-10 G/l.
How can leukocytes be affected in renal therapy?
As a dialysis patient, you have a reduced defense against infection. Therefore, it is immensely important to exercise regularly outside. Despite the necessary adjustments, your diet should be balanced and rich in vitamins. In addition, you will be offered various vaccinations at your dialysis center, for example to protect you in case of the autumn flu epidemic.
What are platelets?
Platelets are the blood cells that your body needs when you are injured. When a blood vessel is injured, your body starts bleeding internally or externally. The platelets then come and clump together to form a clot. They are therefore the key component to your blood clotting process. In other words, they are the "glue" that seals your wounds.
What is the approximate target value for platelets?
For platelets, your level should be approximately between 150- 350 G/l.
How can platelets be affected in renal therapy?
In renal replacement therapy (hemodialysis), you are given anticoagulants to keep your blood from clumping together in the machine's blood tubing system. This means that your wounds will not close as easily. At the end of dialysis, the medication is stopped early so that you do not bleed for too long. If you tend to bruise more often, tell your doctor. He will then review the dosage if necessary. If you have additional conditions such as atrial fibrillation or stents in your heart, it may be necessary to constantly restrict your blood clotting. To do this you will need to take an additional medicine. Your doctor will also check the dosage regularly with a blood test. Before any type of surgery, you should always make sure that your blood clotting is not restricted. If you are planning one, it is best to call your dialysis team right away so that they can adjust the anticoagulants during the next dialysis.
What is hemoglobin ?
Hemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in erythrocytes. Because it gives blood its red color, it is also called red blood pigment. The most important job of hemoglobin is to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide around in your blood. Just like the lack of red blood cells, too little hemoglobin makes you tired and listless. In serious cases, it can cause shortness of breath. Since hemoglobin is the carrier of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, this value is used to detect anemia. Note that for this test, your erythrocyte count is not very important.
What is the approximate target value for hemoglobin?
As a dialysis patient, you can assume an approximate target of 12 - 16 g/dL, as long as you are not receiving EPO therapy. If your hemoglobin level falls below 9 g/dl because your kidneys are not producing enough EPO, the level should be kept between 9 and 11 g/dl with medications such as EPO. Too much hemoglobin through EPO replacement has been shown to be harmful in many studies.
How can hemoglobin be affected in renal therapy?
As with erythrocytes, nutrition plays an important role. Your body needs iron for hemoglobin. You can also easily check the iron content of foods in the food checker of your Miku app.
Erythrocytes are responsible for transporting oxygen in your blood, leukocytes are part of your body's defense system
Thrombocytes are also called blood platelets and ensure that the blood clumps together in a wound and thus closes an open wound
Hemoglobin transports oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood
- Renale Anämie - Hintergründe und Therapiemöglichkeiten. Mark Dominik Alscher. Dialyse aktuell 2016. Georg Thieme Verlage Stuttgart